Tech Law Journal Daily E-Mail Alert
Wednesday, August 24, 2011, Alert No. 2,292.
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Steve Jobs Resigns

8/24. Steve Jobs, CEO of Apple, resigned from this position. Tim Cook, who was previously Chief Operating Officer, was named CEO. See, Apple release.

Jobs wrote a letter to the Apple Board of Directors. "I have always said if there ever came a day when I could no longer meet my duties and expectations as Apple's CEO, I would be the first to let you know. Unfortunately, that day has come."

He continued, "I hereby resign as CEO of Apple. I would like to serve, if the Board sees fit, as Chairman of the Board, director and Apple employee." He did not describe his health in this letter.

Jobs added that "Apple's brightest and most innovative days are ahead of it".

Google to Pay $500 Million for Allowing Its AdWords Program to be Used to Promote Illegal Online Drug Sales

8/24. The Department of Justice (DOJ) announced in a release that Google and the DOJ signed a settlement agreement regarding Google's advertising assistance to foreign online pharmacies that illegally sell drugs to U.S. consumers.

The DOJ described, but did not release, the settlement agreement. The DOJ stated that Google will pay a forfeiture of "$500 million for allowing online Canadian pharmacies to place advertisements through its AdWords program targeting consumers in the United States, resulting in the unlawful importation of controlled and non-controlled prescription drugs into the United States".

The DOJ added that "Google acknowledges that it improperly assisted Canadian online pharmacy advertisers to run advertisements that targeted the United States through AdWords, and the company accepts responsibility for this conduct."

The DOJ stated that $500 Million "represents the gross revenue received by Google as a result of Canadian pharmacies advertising through Googles AdWords program, plus gross revenue made by   Canadian pharmacies from their sales to U.S. consumers."

By reaching this agreement, Google and its directors and officers avoided criminal prosecution and civil litigation.

The DOJ also explained that "The shipment of prescription drugs from pharmacies outside the United States to customers in the United States typically violates the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act and in the case of controlled prescription drugs , the Controlled Substances Act. Google was aware as early as 2003, that generally, it was illegal for pharmacies to ship controlled and non-controlled prescription drugs into the United States from Canada."

Also, "The importation of prescription drugs to consumers in the United States is almost always unlawful because the FDA cannot ensure the safety and effectiveness of foreign prescription drugs that are not FDA-approved because the drugs may not meet FDAs labeling requirements; may not have been manufactured, stored and distributed under proper conditions; and may not have been dispensed in accordance with a valid prescription."

Moreover, "While Canada has its own regulatory rules for prescription drugs, Canadian pharmacies that ship prescription drugs to U.S. residents are not subject to Canadian regulatory authority, and many sell drugs obtained from countries other than Canada which lack adequate pharmacy regulations."

USPTO and Taiwan IPO Announce Patent Prosecution Highway Program

8/22. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and the Taiwan Intellectual Property Office (TIPO) announced that they have agreed to establish a Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH) pilot program, to begin on September 1, 2011, and to continue for one year.

The USPTO wrote in a release that this "will permit each office to benefit from work previously done by the other office, which reduces the examination workload and improves patent quality." David Kappos, head of the USPTO, stated in this release that the TIPO "represents a rich source of high quality work product".

The TIPO stated in a release that "Applicants for invention patents that are first filed with USPTO and later filed with TIPO claiming priority to the USPTO application may submit a request for accelerated examination with TIPO, provided the examination result from USPTO contains at least one claim determined to be patentable. Correspondingly, applicants for invention patents that are first filed in TIPO and later filed in USPTO may also submit a request for accelerated examination with the USPTO, provided the examination result from TIPO contains at least one claim determined to be patentable."

The TIPO continued that "PPH is a framework for allowing, on request by the applicant, accelerated examination in an OSF (Office of Second Filing) by utilizing the search and examination results of the OFF (Office of First Filing) for the same invention. These cooperative measures help to avoid duplication of work, so as to shrink patent application backlogs and enhance examination quality. However, the program does not bind either office to approve applications that were initially approved by the partner office." (Parentheses in original.)

Wiretaps Up Sharply in 2010

8/18. The Administrative Office of U.S. Courts (AOUSC) released its 2001 annual report on Title 18 intercepts. It finds that the use of state and federal wiretaps and other intercepts increased 34% from 2009 to 2010.

It states that "A total of 3,194 intercepts authorized by federal and state courts were completed in 2010". 1,207 were federal. 1,987 were state. Also, the AOUSC disclosed that it obtained data from only 25 states.

The report also states that "The average number of persons whose communications were intercepted rose from 113 per wiretap order in 2009 to 118 per wiretap order in 2010." 3,194 intercepts multiplied by 118 persons per intercept equals 376,892 persons.

This report does not include intercepts conducted pursuant to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), which is codified in Title 50.

The report states that the average cost of a federal wiretap in 2010 was $63,566.

The report states that almost all intercepts, both state and federal, are wiretaps of telephone communications, which includes both wireline and wireless.

The report also reveals that narcotics investigations continue to account for most intercepts. 2,675 out of 3,194 orders granting intercepts in 2010 were narcotics related.

The full title of the report is "Report of the Director of the Administrative Office of United States Courts on Applications for Orders Authorizing or Approving the Interception of Wire, Oral, or Electronic Communications".

Tech Crime Report

8/22. Jihan S. Cover, an employee of the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), pled guilty in U.S. District Court (WDNC) to theft of government property, in connection with her use of government purchase cards for unauthorized personal transactions, including $16,000 to Amazon.com for toys and other purchases, and more than $47,000 in payments to personal accounts that she created on PayPal. See, DOJ release.

8/18. The U.S. District Court (EDVa) sentenced Donald H. Cone to serve 30 months in prison and pay $143,300 in restitution following his previous conviction for importing and selling counterfeit Cisco branded computer networking equipment. The other convicted defendant, Chun-Yu Zhao, is scheduled to be sentenced in September. See, DOJ release.

8/15. The U.S. District Court (EDMich) sentenced Jacinda Jones to serve two years in prison and three years of supervised release following her plea of guilty to criminal copyright infringement. The Department of Justice (DOJ) stated in a release that "Jones grossed more than $400,000 between July 2008 and January 2010 by selling more than 7,000 copies of pirated business software at discounted prices" on the web. The DOJ added that "The software had a retail value of more than $2 million and was owned by several companies, including Microsoft, Adobe, Intuit and Symantec".

In This Issue
This issue contains the following items:
  Steve Jobs Resigns
  Google to Pay $500 Million for Allowing Its AdWords Program to be Used to Promote Illegal Online Drug Sales
  USPTO and Taiwan IPO Announce Patent Prosecution Highway Program
  Wiretaps Up Sharply in 2010
  Tech Crime Report
Notice

There was no issue of the TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert in the last week. During this time period, David Carney, the publisher, served on a trial jury, and worked on bookkeeping tasks.

Washington Tech Calendar
New items are highlighted in red.
Wednesday, August 24

The House will not meet.  It is in recess until 2:00 PM on September 7. However, it will hold pro forma sessions twice per week until then.

The Senate will not meet. It is in recess until 2:00 PM on September 6. However, it will hold pro forma sessions twice per week until then.

EXTENDED FROM JULY 25. Extended deadline to submit reply comments to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in response to its Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) [55 pages in PDF] regarding wireless signal boosters. The FCC adopted this item on April 5, 2011, and released the text on April 6, 2011. It is FCC 11-53 in WT Docket No. 10-4. See, original notice in the Federal Register, Vol. 76, No. 90, Tuesday, May 10, 2011, at Pages 26983-26996. See also, FCC's June 20, 2011, Public Notice (DA 11-1078) and extension notice in the Federal Register, Vol. 76, No. 122, Friday, June 24, 2011, at Page 37049.

Deadline to submit initial comments to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in response to its Public Notice regarding certain universal service and intercarrier compensation reform issues. The FCC released this item on August 3, 2011. It is DA 11-1348 in WC Docket Nos. 10-90, 07-135, 05-337, and 03-109, CC Docket Nos. 01-92 and 96-45, and GN Docket No. 09-51. See, notice in the Federal Register, Vol. 76, No. 154, Wednesday, August 10, 2011, at Pages 49401-49408.

Thursday, August 25

No events listed.

Friday, August 26

The House will meet in pro forma session at 10:00 AM.

The Senate will meet in pro forma session at 11:15 AM.

Monday, August 29

Deadline to submit comments to the Department of Transportation's (DOT) Research and Innovative Technology Administration (RITA) in response to the notice in the Federal Register requesting comments regarding Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) learning, including "connected vehicle technology that will feature a connected transportation environment among vehicles, the infrastructure, and passengers' portable devices". See, Federal Register, Vol. 76, No. 145, Thursday, July 28, 2011, at Pages 45334-45335.

Deadline to submit initial comments to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in response to its Third Notice of Proposed Rule Making (3rdNPRM) [32 pages in PDF] regarding the impact of the enactment of the Local Community Radio Act of 2010 (LCRA) on "the procedures previously adopted to process the approximately 6,500 applications which remain pending from the 2003 FM translator window". The FCC adopted and released this item on July 12, 2011. It is FCC 11-105 in MM Docket No. 99-25 and MB Docket No. 07-172. See, notice in the Federal Register, Vol. 76, No. 146, Friday, July 29, 2011, at Pages 45491-45499, and story titled "FCC Adopts LPFM NPRM" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 2,258, July 14, 2011.

Tuesday, August 30

The House will meet in pro forma session at 10:00 AM.

The Senate will meet in pro forma session at 10:00 AM.

Deadline to submit reply comments to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in response to its Notice of Inquiry (NOI) [27 pages in PDF] regarding rights of way policies and wireless facilities siting requirements. The FCC adopted and released this item on April 7, 2011. It is FCC 11-51 in WC Docket No. 11-59. See, notice in the Federal Register, Vol. 76, No. 95, Tuesday, May 17, 2011, at Pages 28397-28403.

Extended deadline for Bloomberg to filed with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) its reply to Comcast's answer to its complaint regarding channel placement. See, story titled "Sen. Franken Writes FCC Regarding Bloomberg's Complaint Against Comcast" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 2,280, August 5, 2011.

Wednesday, August 31

Deadline to submit comments to the National Institute of Standards and Technology's (NIST) Computer Security Division (CSD) regarding its draft SP 800-67 Rev. 1 [35 pages in PDF] titled "Recommendation for the Triple Data Encryption Algorithm (TDEA) Block Cipher".

Deadline to submit reply comments to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in response to its Public Notice regarding certain universal service and intercarrier compensation reform issues. The FCC released this item on August 3, 2011. It is DA 11-1348 in WC Docket Nos. 10-90, 07-135, 05-337, and 03-109, CC Docket Nos. 01-92 and 96-45, and GN Docket No. 09-51. See, notice in the Federal Register, Vol. 76, No. 154, Wednesday, August 10, 2011, at Pages 49401-49408.

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